Friday, May 29, 2015

Awards Gala Shines Light on SLT Volunteers

All the stars will be shining bright at Slidell Little Theatre’s  46th Annual Ginny Awards Night, a free event honoring the incredible talents of the hundreds of volunteers who work on and off the stage to bring magic to life.

The Ginnys will be held at the community theatre on Saturday, June 6, beginning at 8 p.m. Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Named after SLT founder Virginia Madison, the Ginny Awards recognize achievements during the community theatre’s six main stage productions. Award categories range from show poster artists to choreographers to costumers to set designers to actors and more, but the highlight of the evening truly is the celebration of volunteers – the people who dedicate untold hours and unbelievable talent for a single cause: to stage high quality theatrical productions for the community.

“The purpose of the Ginny Awards is much more than just identifying one performer or one production as most outstanding in a season,” said Don Redman, SLT’s vice president of Marketing. “The Ginnys also afford us an evening to celebrate our achievements as volunteers and recognize the tremendous amount of work involved in staging quality theatre the entire season. The number of volunteer hours we log every season is simply astounding – more than 25,000 hours. And perhaps more astounding is the incredible talent our volunteers share with our little community theatre. So, while maybe not everyone will walk away that night with a Ginny Award, we are nevertheless extremely proud of and grateful for their work and talents.”

The nominees for Ginny Awards were selected by a panel of judges who remain anonymous during the season. The top three finalists for each category will be announced at the Ginnys.

The finalists were drawn from all six of the main stage productions during the 2014-2015 Season. 

Potential Ginny Award winners are:

Best Poster
Sarah Boudreaux Smith - Fiddler on the Roof
Scott Sauber – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Julia Lavigne – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Glenn Dieterich – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Naomi Schmidt – Doubt: A Parable
Lenny Unbehagen –The Full Monty

Best Costumes
Sally Ann Buras – Fiddler on the Roof, A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas, and The Full Monty
Kathleen Kelly – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Myra Duffour – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mignon Charvet – Doubt

Best Sound Design
Daniel Toups – Fiddler on the Roof
Claudia Leger – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Jonathan Himel – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Jack Faust – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Gary Mendoza – Doubt
Josh St. Cyr – The Full Monty

Best Lighting Design
Bryan Reilly – Fiddler on the Roof; Move Over, Mrs. Markham; and A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Carlos Nine – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Jack Stubbs – Doubt
Scott Sauber – The Full Monty

Best Set Design
Fred Martinez and Mitch Stubbs – Fiddler on the Roof
Ryan Robichaux – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Christine Barnhill-Tramel – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Larry Johnson – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Gary Mendoza – Doubt
Scott Sauber – The Full Monty

Best Choreography
Hannah Jennings and Martha Braud –  Fiddler on the Roof
Christine Barnhill-Tramel – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Larry Johnson and Josh Brewer – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Katie Peck – The Full Monty

Best Music Direction
Angel Carter and Chrissy Miller – Fiddler on the Roof
Pam Lisotta – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
John Giraud – The Full Monty

Best Supporting Actor in a Play
Larry Johnson – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Ladson Poole – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Robert Jahncke – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Gary Mendoza – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Best Supporting Actress in a Play
Cristy Fletcher – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Hannah King – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Maria Hefte – Doubt

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical
Richard Baseler – Fiddler on the Roof
Michael Williams – Fiddler on the Roof
Joel Sweetland – Fiddler on the Roof
Gary Gilmore – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Matthew Price – The Full Monty

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
Martha Braud – Fiddler on the Roof
Alex Barron – Fiddler on the Roof
Hannah Jennings – Fiddler on the Roof
Jackie Clines – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Diana LaSalla – The Full Monty

Best Leading Actor in a Play
Derrick Stevens – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Eric Generes – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Larry Johnson - Doubt

Best Leading Actress in a Play
Julie Generes – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Ashleigh Krieger – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Anne Pourciao – Doubt

Best Leading Actor in a Musical
David Jacobs – Fiddler on the Roof
John Kirkpatrick – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Ken Starling – The Full Monty

Best Leading Actress in a Musical
Sara Pagones – Fiddler on the Roof
Tiffinie Lyon – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Carla Constanza – The Full Monty

Best Director
Paula Thompson – Fiddler on the Roof
Renee Saussaye – Move Over, Mrs. Markham
Scott Tramel – A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas
Julie Generes and Larry Johnson – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Gary Mendoza – Doubt
Scott Sauber – The Full Monty

Show of the Year
Fiddler on the Roof – Paula Thompson, Jeremy Himel, Mitch Stubbs
Move Over, Mrs. Markham – Renee Saussaye, Martha Braud, Chrissy Miller
A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas – Scott Tramel, Jeremy Himel, Lee Dukes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Julie Generes and Larry Johnson, Beth Bonnell, Mitch Stubbs
Doubt – Gary Mendoza, Beth Bonnell, Payton Core
The Full The Full Monty – Scott Sauber, Roberta Hazelbaker and Michelle Hayes, Laura Sharp

The Ginny Awards were first introduced during the 1968-1969 Season. That year, “Of Mice and Men” was named Best Show.

Since 1963, Slidell Little Theatre has been bringing together the entire community for unforgettable performances filled with music, drama and laughter. After years of performances on high school stages, the city auditorium and then in a remodeled church, SLT now has a state-of-the-art facility located at 2024 Nellie Drive, next to the Fremaux Town Center mall.

The Northshore’s premier community theatre for 50 years, Slidell Little Theatre is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and involving members of the community in high quality theatrical productions. SLT is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

Friday, May 15, 2015

SLT Board Elections: Meet the Candidates

* UPDATE: The elections were held May 18, 2015. Elected to serve on the Board of Directors are: Bill Saussaye, President; Tracy Gallinghouse, V.P. Marketing; and Roberta Hazelbaker, At-Large. Their terms begin July 1, 2015.

Slidell Little Theatre is conducting elections to the SLT Board of Directors at the Annual Membership meeting on Monday, May 18, 2015, beginning at 7 p.m.

Vacancies to be filled are: Board President, Vice President of Marketing and Board Member At-Large. The bylaws require SLT’s standing Nominating Committee to recommend candidates for specific offices, but failure to secure the committee’s endorsement should not in any way suggest that the candidate would not serve the organization well if elected to the board.

“We are very fortunate as an organization to have so many well-qualified people step forward to offer their time and talents to our community theatre,” said Wayne Orton, Vice President of Operations and chair of the Nominating Committee. “Regardless the outcome of these elections, I know Slidell Little Theatre will be in excellent hands.”

The following are personal bios submitted by the candidates:


Paul Banas

Paul Banas is a senior executive with broad general management, operations, contracts/subcontracts, business development, personnel development, and customer-focused solutions experience in support of U.S. Government and commercial clients. He has demonstrated leadership ability in forging organizational vision and accomplishment of goals through the motivation and direction of others. He possesses effective administrative skills proven by understanding organizational needs, planning and executing strategic programs with attention to detail and accuracy. He also has excellent communications skills.

Paul is currently an independent contractor providing technical, management and business development expertise to Department of Defense and NASA Programs. He was previously the Vice President for Maritime and Transportation Services in the Technology Solutions Group (TSG) of QinetiQ North America (QNA), managing over 180 professional, technical and administrative personnel in eight facilities around the country and over $30M in annual revenues. During his career, he served as the employee representative to the Board of Directors for ten years.

Paul holds an M.S. in Marine Sciences from Louisiana State University, a B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Michigan, He is married to Susan Teggart, has a son Ian and daughter Kathryn, and two grandchildren. He has lived in Slidell, Louisiana for over 35 years. He has been a member of SLT, off-and-on, for over 20 years, and has appeared on stage in several productions (based on work travel schedule).

Paul is running for President of SLT in order to help take the organization to “the next level”. There are many creative people in the SLT organization. However, to reach the next level, it will take a manger and leader to harness all this creativity in order to move forward and achieve our collective goals together.                   

William Saussaye*

William Saussaye, a member of Slidell Little Theatre since 2001, has volunteered his time and talents on stage and off.  In addition to appearing in several SLT productions, he has served on the board previously as Newsletter Committee chair, Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Productions, and President.  When not at SLT, he works as a computer consultant, and has the honor of being married to the lovely and talented, Ginny-Award winning, Renee Balencie Saussaye.

Vice President of Marketing

Tracy Gallinghouse *

Tracy Gallinghouse is completing her third year as Publicity Chair for SLT.  She considers it her mission to get everyone in to see, and be a part of, the live theatre experience.


Roberta Hazelbaker

Roberta Hazelbaker is running for the SLT Board Member At-Large position. She has been a resident of Slidell since 1997.  When her son, Ryan, entered the YATS program in 2000, she became involved with SLT. As Ryan, her daughter, Kristina, and husband, Ken, participated in Main Stage shows, Roberta worked as part of the Production Staff taking the role of Producer, a position in a show she feels is the best job ever! Roberta was a member of the SLT Board for a one year term as Secretary, then became co-coordinator of the YATS program for three summers. Currently, Roberta works with the V.P. of Production with the creation and presentation of the Producers Training Program, assists with Box Office, and produces shows. 

Roberta was honored to be asked to run for a position on the SLT Board. She is thrilled at the prospect of assisting with the management and operations of SLT, which is an organization that is dear to her heart.

Jeremy Himel*

I was born in New Orleans and raised in Slidell since 1984. I attended Northshore High School, and the University of New Orleans.

I have worked in blood banking since 1996, first in the laboratory as a component preparation technician, and then as the Fixed Site Recruitment Manager for The Blood Center. As the recruitment manager I was responsible for the promotional events, direct mail, and the recruitment of 30,000 + blood donors at our 14 area locations throughout South Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After Hurricane Katrina, I moved to the Northeast and accepted a job with the American Red Cross Connecticut Region as a Quarantine and Labeling Technician. Then in 2012 I accepted a position back with The Blood Center in my previous capacity.

I have been a member of Slidell Little Theatre since 2012. I have produced two plays; Fiddler on the Roof, and A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas.

·         Entire career has been spent in the non-profit sector
·         Over 10 years’ experience managing a diverse multi-generational team
·         Goal oriented

According to our bylaws, any qualified member can still be nominated for a position from the floor at the Annual Meeting, regardless whether he or she went through the nominating process.

The election will begin with the position of Board President, allowing the candidate with the fewest votes an opportunity to run for another position on the ballot. The terms of office are for three years.

Serving on this year’s Nominating Committee were: Wayne Orton, Allen Little, Don Redman, Scott and Christine Tramel, Sara Pagones and Brandee Krieger.

If you have any additional questions, please email Wayne Orton at

*Endorsed by Nominating Committee

Friday, May 1, 2015

SLT Comedy Night Puts the Fun in Fundraiser

Slidell Little Theatre is bringing the northshore’s top comedian to the stage on May 30, 2015, for a night of laughs and merriment all to support the ongoing Next Stage II building project.

Slidell native Mike Strecker’s comedy routine has been wowing audiences from Los Angeles to New York, and he’s a real favorite in New Orleans. His act has won numerous comedy contests and delighted audiences from college campuses to corporate clients such as NASA, Northrop Grumman and the American Cancer Society. Strecker has also performed with some of the country’s leading comedians including Jake Johannsen and Brett Butler.

As an added bonus, Strecker is bringing along his longtime friend, Ken LaFrance, a seasoned comedian and improv performer. 

“As a comedian you learn early on that there is a short list of those who you can count on to deliver an extraordinary performance every time they step on stage and who are also true professionals off stage,” said Strecker. “Ken LaFrance is at the top of my list.” 

Strecker’s ordinary and extraordinary events – like going to the grocery, buying a car, getting married and becoming a father – provide the basis for his sharp, smart humor. Think Jerry Seinfeld…with less money and more problems.

The SLT Comedy Night will be on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 8 Slidell Little Theatre. Tickets are $15 if purchased in advance and $18 at the door. Advance ticket sales are available during each performance of “The Full Monty,” onstage May 1 – 17.

The subject material of SLT Comedy Night is suitable for teenagers and older.

Progress on the Next Stage II project – a “black box” space for rehearsals and special productions – has been slowed by bureaucratic obstacles, but the SLT Board of Directors have secured initial funding for the basic structure itself and has named a firm to construct the facility as soon as they are given the green light. It is anticipated that a date for groundbreaking ceremonies will be announced soon.

The Northshore’s premier community theatre since 1963, Slidell Little Theatre is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and involving members of the community in high quality theatrical productions. SLT is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

New SLT Package Targets Young Families

Slidell Little Theatre proudly announces a new subscription package designed especially for young families, featuring tickets to two family-friendly main stage productions and one production of our Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) program.

The Family Theatre Package includes tickets to Mary Poppins, The Snow Queen and one TYA production, yet to be selected. Package prices are $45 per adult and $15 per child (age 10 and under).  Under this offer,  a typical family of four with two adults and two kids will realize a 36 percent savings off of regular admission prices.

“The Family Theatre Package is designed to provide an affordable alternative to productions geared specifically to families with children,” said Don Redman, V.P. of Marketing. “We understand that many young families face a lot of financial challenges  and we want to make live theatre more accessible to them, to foster love for and appreciation of the performing arts among younger audiences and to establish family traditions that include attending live theatre.”

The special discount  will expire after the last performance of Mary Poppins on Sept. 13.

The special subscription offer is on sale at the theatre during regular main stage performances and during the YATS productions during the summer.